Even though auto manufacturers use more and more advanced safety features to protect motorists, many crash victims in Staten Island and elsewhere suffer severe back injuries. Such injuries can vary from minor to severe, and if you were in a car accident, you should undergo a thorough medical examination. It is not uncommon for a seemingly insignificant back injury to turn out to be severe enough to require surgery.
The impact of a collision can damage any of the many parts that make up your back. Your spinal column stretches from the base of your skull to the tip of your tailbone, and along the way it has ligaments, tendons, muscles, disks and vertebrae with nerves and the spinal cord running through it.
Types of back injuries
The complex structure of the spine includes 24 vertebrae with disks between them that act as cushions. A back injury in one area could cause harm and pain in other areas, such as pain in your legs along with numbness and muscle fatigue. The following types of injuries can cause excruciating pain and the need for surgery if left untreated:
- Herniated disk: The disk is like a small water-filled cushion that acts as a shock absorber. The impact of a crash can puncture it and cause the fluid to leak.
- Bulging disk: A car accident can cause a disk to shift out of place or move, causing pain.
- Soft tissue injuries: The impact of a collision can cause a whiplash movement of your body. This rapid thrust of the body from one side to the other typically tears or stretches muscles, ligaments and tendons — with pain often not evident immediately.
- Nerve damage: A pinched nerve can cause severe pain and discomfort, and it can result from a herniated or bulging disk that prevents the nerve signals from reaching the brain. It can cause numbness, tingling and pain, and it could either heal naturally over time, or cause permanent damage.
- Fractures: Different types of fractures can occur, with different consequences — all of them more complicated than broken arms or legs. They include axial burst, compression, transverse, dislocation and flexion fractures.
All these injuries can cause long-term financial and health problems that could include anything from chronic pain to paralysis. If you are dealing with the consequences of a back injury after a crash caused by another person's negligence, you could pursue financial relief. Navigating a civil lawsuit might seem overwhelming at a time when all you want is to get better and return to work. Fortunately, an experienced Staten Island personal injury attorney can provide the necessary support and guidance to help you recover financial and emotional damages.